Keeping Up the Urban Forest: Predictors of Tree Maintenance in Small Southern Towns in the United States
Bonnie L. Lewis and John G. Boulahanis
Abstract: A mail survey of mayors of small towns in 13 southern states assessed the importance of urban forests and current urban forest practices. Topics covered were local tree management practices, resource allocation, and community influence. The findings, based on the responses of 504 mayors, indicate that small southern towns vary widely in their support of urban and community forests. Descriptive and multivariate analysis showing the relative effects of several predictors of basic tree maintenance indicate that basic solutions are near at hand. A clear linkage of state resources and organizational structure to local tree maintenance supports the important role played by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and its support for state agencies. In addition, the particular challenges communities face are outweighed by other factors.
Keywords: Small towns; urban and community forestry; urban forest management